The problem with eating alone arises when you realized you’ve made all this beautiful food and only you are around to eat it.
Food doesn’t seem as good when it’s eaten without company. There are some cases when it is, but then after the food is gone that feeling of quiet sets in—there’s no conversation surrounding the food, no commentary on the newest superhero movie, no laughter, no one questioning dessert (although, that might be a good thing).
We can’t always have good company and we can’t always be found in woe when we eat alone.
When the only good company is my own, I try to improve the mood of the room, occupied by one, and reduce the feeling of melancholy.
Here are 5 ways to make eating alone more enjoyable:
1. Play some music
The best thing you can do, is to turn on some music. It’s so surprising how much music can change the mood of a room or person depending on its genre. I suggest choosing something that is light, refreshing, and delightful. Maybe something with a nice beat to sway to. Something that is calming and internally fulfilling to soothe the ache of a quiet dining room.
2. Listen to conversations
A podcast can make you feel like there are other people in the room, only you can’t see them (which sounds scary). A podcast may be the better option compared to turning on the TV. Moreover, there are plenty of humorous people creating podcasts that you need to check out. A few podcasts that I’ve found entertaining are You Made it Weird, Mysterious Universe, and The Adam Carolla Show. You might not find these funny, but there are plenty out there to satisfy your strange humor, which can be found with a quick online search.
3. Listen to your favorite author
When reading quietly won’t really work while eating, an audiobook can seem like a treasure. Many authors are speaking on their own audiobooks now, which is incredible lovely because they put the emotion and emphasis on the words and the pauses where they were intended. Neil Gaiman is the most applauded, but there are plenty of others, including Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephen Fry, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
4. Eat outside (depending on the weather)
Choosing to eat outside might mean venturing away from home. I envy people who live next to a beautiful botanical garden like, the one in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park because of the picnic space available on the Great Meadow, which welcomes you as you enter the living museum. If you live next to a place like this, or even a park, and the weather is nice, go out and have a picnic by yourself. It’s a great place to sit quietly to savor your meal and enjoy the view.
5. Eat something so delicious you don’t want to share
I know this suggestion is the oddball of the list. Every suggestion before this involved filling the void with other stimulus besides food. If you cook or bring home your favorite food—and I mean your absolute favorite that you hate sharing with someone—being alone while eating it will be an ultimate pleasure. You should probably go all out and make your meal visually appealing while you’re at it. Only you will see it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring out the “special occasion” dinnerware. Hopefully you have a food you feel this way about. Mine is a spaghetti sauce with fettuccine and shrimp. (It used to be alfredo sauce with fettuccine and shrimp, but I became sensitive to lactose—a story for another day—which reminds me I need to begin creating my non-dairy alfredo sauce.)
Next time you’re alone with something delicious and feel that unease of quiet set in, do one of these. Let me know how it worked for you.
Do you already have a tactic? I’d like to hear about it.